Titans-Dolphins Postgame Notes

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TEAM NOTES

·      With their 34-3 win, the Titans clinched the AFC South, securing the organization's first back-to-back division titles since the Oilers won the first three AFL Eastern Division titles from 1960 to 1962.

·      The win, paired with Kansas City's loss at Cincinnati, moved the 11-5 Titans into the top seed in the AFC playoff standings. A win next week at Houston would clinch the top seed and a first-round bye for the Titans.

·      The Titans have clinched three consecutive playoff berths. It is the organization's first time doing so since a franchise-record seven consecutive playoff appearances from 1987 to 1993.

·      The Titans notched their second consecutive season with at least 11 wins. It marks the franchise's fourth all-time set of back-to-back 11-win seasons. As the Oilers, the team went 11-5 in 1979 and in 1980. During the "Titans era" (since 1999), the team was 13-3 in both 1999 and 2000, and then 11-5 and 12-4 in 2002 and 2003, respectively.

·      Tennessee's 31-point margin of victory was the team's largest in any game since winning 37-3 (34-point margin) at Miami on Nov. 11, 2012.

·      The Titans won the turnover battle with two takeaways (one interception and one fumble) and no giveaways. It was the ninth time in 2021 they had a positive turnover margin, and they improved to 8-1 in those contests.

·      In a game played in cold, wet conditions, the Titans won the field-position battle by a significant margin. The average Titans drive began on their own 43-yard line, while the average Dolphins series began on their 20. The deepest penetration the Dolphins offense had in the contest was Tennessee's 21-yard line.

·      For the 12th time in 16 games this season, the Titans won the time-of-possession battle. Their time of possession was 33:12, compared to 26:48 by the Steelers.

TEAM NOTES – OFFENSE

·      With 17 points in the fourth quarter, the Titans had their highest-scoring fourth quarter since Dec. 20, 2020 against the Detroit Lions, when they scored 22 points in the final quarter.

·      The Titans converted seven third downs on 15 attempts. Their 46.7 percent conversion rate was their fifth-best mark of the season. The Titans also converted their only fourth-down try.

·      The Titans rushed for 198 total yards on 40 attempts (5.0 avg.), which was the most rushing yards given up by the Dolphins defense through 16 games in 2021. The Dolphins entered the contest with the NFL's seventh-ranked rushing defense (102.3 per game). The previous high against the Dolphins was 143 rushing yards by Buffalo on Sept. 19.

·      The Titans' 198 rushing yards made up their fourth-highest total of the season. They had 40 rushing attempts, registering their third game of 2021 with at least 40 carries.

·      The Titans offense registered its first game of 2021 with at least two rushing touchdowns and at least two passing touchdowns. Their 34 points tied for the team's second-highest total of the season.

TEAM NOTES – DEFENSE

·      The Titans registered their third game of the season allowing three points or less. They held the Chiefs to three points on Oct. 24 and shut out the Jaguars on Dec. 12.

·      For the fifth time in 2021 and for the third time in a four-week span, the Titans defense allowed three points or less in the first half. They went into halftime with a 17-3 advantage.

·      The Titans did not allow a score in the second half for the second time in 2021 and for the second time in four games (Dec. 12 against Jacksonville).

·      The defense limited Miami to three conversions on 12 third-down attempts (25.0 percent). It was defense's third performance of 2021 holding the opposing offense to 25.0 percent or lower.

·      Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was 13-of-38 passing for 205 yards with an interception. After entering the game with the league's best completion percentage (69.9), he completed 47.4 percent against the Titans, which was his lowest in any game of 2021 with at least five attempts. Tagovailoa's 53.1 passer rating against the Titans also was his lowest of the season in any game with five or more attempts. 

·      The Titans defense registered its third game of 2021 with at least four sacks and two takeaways. The unit previously accomplished the feat against the Chiefs (Oct. 24) and at the Rams (Nov. 7).

DL DENICO AUTRY

·      Helped end Miami's first drive of the game with a six-yard sack of Tua Tagovailoa, increasing his 2021 total to nine sacks and his career total to 39.5 sacks.

·      Recorded his fourth consecutive game with at least one sack, which is the longest such streak of his career. 

·      His nine sacks in 2021 tied his career high, matching the nine sacks he had in 2018 as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

·      Totaled three tackles.

WR A.J. BROWN

·      Led the team with 41 receiving yards on a pair of receptions.

·      Registered a 25-yard catch in the first quarter that helped lead to the team's first touchdown six plays later.

K RANDY BULLOCK

·      Made both of his field goal attempts (23 and 44 yards) and all four of his extra point attempts despite cold, rainy conditions. He also booted five of his seven kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

S KEVIN BYARD

·      Credited with four tackles and helped limit Tua Tagovailoa to a 53.1 passer rating.

ILB ZACH CUNNINGHAM

·      Tied for the team lead with six tackles.

TE ANTHONY FIRKSER

·      Totaled 24 yards and a touchdown on three receptions, the latter of which tied for the team lead.

·      Scored a touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill in the fourth quarter. It was his first touchdown reception of 2021 and the fourth touchdown catch of his career. He also scored earlier in the 2021 campaign on a fumble recovery.

·      Reached 100 career receptions on his first catch of the game. He improved his career totals include 102 receptions for 1,051 yards and four touchdowns.

RB D'ONTA FOREMAN

·      Led the team with a career-high 132 rushing yards on 26 rushing attempts, which also was a career high.

·      Scored on a 21-yard run in the second quarter, giving him three rushing touchdowns in 2021 and five career rushing touchdowns. He registered his second consecutive game with a touchdown run and his third game with a touchdown in a four-game span.

·      Registered his third 100-yard rushing performance in a five-game span.  

·      Went over the 100-yard mark on a 35-yard run in the fourth quarter. The play was the second-longest rushing attempt of his career.

CB KRISTIAN FULTON

·      Led the team with two passes defensed and helped limit Tua Tagovailoa to a 53.1 passer rating.

·      Totaled three tackles in the contest.

RB DONTRELL HILLIARD

·      Rushed for 45 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts and added three receptions for 33 yards. His three catches tied for the team lead. He finished second on the team with 78 scrimmage yards and added a 24-yard kickoff return.

·      In the fourth quarter, he scored on a 39-yard run. It was the second-longest rushing attempt of his career and gave him two rushing touchdowns in 2021 (four career).

S AMANI HOOKER

·      Tied for the team lead with six tackles and added a pass defensed.

P BRETT KERN

·      Averaged 44.3 yards (40.5 net) on four punts with three punts placed inside the 20.

·      Pinned the Dolphins on their own two-yard line with a 46-yard punt in the third quarter.

·      Placed a 37-yard punt on Miami's seven-yard line in the fourth quarter.

OLB HAROLD LANDRY III

·      Helped stall a Miami drive in the third quarter by dropping Tua Tagovailoa for an eight-yard sack on third down. He improved his season total to 12 sacks, increasing his career high.

·      Became the first Titans player with 12 sacks in a season since Jason Babin had 12.5 sacks in 2010.

·      Totaled three tackles.

ILB DAVID LONG JR.

·      Totaled four tackles and an interception in his first game back in action after missing six contests due to injury.

·      In the fourth quarter, he picked off a Tua Tagovailoa pass that was intended for tight end Mike Gesicki. It was Long's second interception of the season (second career).

CB ELIJAH MOLDEN

·      Recorded his first career fumble recovery in the first quarter, recovering the ball at Miami's 14-yard line after it was lost by Tua Tagovailoa. The takeaway led to a Titans field goal.

·      Also credited with one tackle and one pass defensed.

DT KYLE PEKO

·      Credited with his first career sack, taking down Tua Tagovailoa for a two-yard loss in the fourth quarter. He also registered his first career forced fumble on the play, but the ball was recovered by the Dolphins.

·      Credited with two total tackles in the contest.

TE GEOFF SWAIM

·      Totaled nine yards and a touchdown on three receptions, the latter of which tied for the team lead.

·      Recorded a one-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter to increase his career high to three touchdowns in 2021. He has five career touchdown catches. 

QB RYAN TANNEHILL

·      Completed 13 of 18 passes for 120 yards with no interceptions and two touchdowns against his former team. His passer rating of 127.1 was his best of the season through 16 games (did not meet the minimum of 20 attempts needed to officially qualify).

·      Registered his third game of 2021 with at least two touchdown passes (62nd career). He completed a one-yard touchdown pass to Geoff Swaim in the first quarter and a 15-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Firkser in the fourth quarter, giving him 17 touchdown passes in 2021 and 195 in his career.

·      Improved to 29-13 (.690) as a starter in regular-season games with the Titans. He now has more regular season wins—29—than any other starting signal caller in franchise history over the player's first three years with the club. He eclipsed the benchmark set by George Blanda, who won 28 regular season starts for the Oilers from 1960 to 1962.

·      With his 29th regular-season win, he tied Marcus Mariota (29) for sixth place on the team's all-time wins list for starting quarterbacks. It leaves him behind only Steve McNair (76), Warren Moon (70), Dan Pastorini (53), George Blanda (44) and Vince Young (30).

·      Extended his streak to 14 consecutive games with at least one passing or rushing touchdown.

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